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Chapter 8: Sociological Foundations of Physical Education and Sport

Chapter 8: Sociological Foundations of Physical Education and Sport. How is sport a socializing force in American culture? What is the nature and scope of sport? What are some problems that we see today in sports and how are they addressed?. Sociology .

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Chapter 8: Sociological Foundations of Physical Education and Sport

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  1. Chapter 8: Sociological Foundations of Physical Education and Sport • How is sport a socializing force in American culture? • What is the nature and scope of sport? • What are some problems that we see today in sports and how are they addressed?

  2. Sociology • Study of people, groups, institutions, human activities in terms of social behavior, and social order within society. • Concerned about institutions in society such as religion, family, government, education, and leisure.

  3. Sociology • Influence of social institutions on the individual, the social behavior and human relations that occur within a group or an institution, and how they influence the individual, and the interrelationship between various institutions within society, such as sport, education, religion, and government.

  4. Sport Sociology • Examination of the relationship between sport and society. • Goals of Sport Sociology(Coakley) • Factors underlying the creation and the organization of sports. • Relationship between sport and other aspects of society such as family, education, and the media. • Influence of sport and sport participation on individuals’ beliefs relative to equity, gender, race, ethnicity, disability, and other societal issues. • The social dynamics within the sport setting, i.e., organizational structure, group actions, and interaction patterns. • The influence of cultural, structural, and situational factors on the nature of sport and the sport experience. • The social processes associated with sport, including competition, socialization, conflict, and change.

  5. Historical Development • Distinct field of inquiry in the late 1960s. • Veblen wrote The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), critiquing sport practices. • Both Sports in American Life (1953) and Man, Play, and Games (1961) analyzed the role of play in culture. • 1964: International Committee of Sport Sociology which later became known as International Sociology of Sport Association (ISSA) in 1994.

  6. Historical Development • Journals • International Review of Sport Sociology became known as International Review for the Sociology of Sport (1984). • Journal of Sport and Social Issues (1977) • Sociology of Sport Journal (1984)

  7. Historical Development • Topics that have gotten the most attention are those related to social inequalities: • Gender, race, ethnicity, wealth, sexual orientation, and culture • 1970s focused on socioeconomic inequalities and class relations in sport. • 1980s focused on class and gender inequities in sport. • 1990s focused on exercise and societal conceptions of the body, racial and ethnic inequities, the impact of the media and politics on sport in different cultures.

  8. What does a sport sociologist do? • Studies the behavior of individuals and groups within the sport milieu. • Influence of social relationships, past social experiences, and the social setting of sport activities on the behavior of groups and individuals in sport.

  9. Sport sociology questions... • Does sport build character? • Does sport help minorities become more fully integrated into society? • How do the mass media affect sport? • How does youth sport influence children’s lives? • How are politics and sports interrelated? • How does sport influence athletes’ academic achievements?

  10. SPORT • “Sports are institutionalized competitive activities that involve rigorous physical exertion or the use of relatively complex physical skills by participants motivated by personal enjoyment and external rewards.” -Coakley • Do you agree with this definition of sport? Why or why not?

  11. Characteristics of Sport • What kind of activities can be classified as sport? • Under what circumstances can participation in activities be considered sport? • What characterizes the involvement of participants in sport?

  12. What sport does for people... • Emotional release • Affirmation of identity • Social control • Socialization • Agent for change • Collective conscious • Success

  13. Sport in the Educational Institutions • Rapid period of growth starting with the first collegiate athletic event in 1852, a crew race between Harvard and Yale. • Introduction and growth of sports at collegiate and interscholastic levels. • Concerns voiced about the educational value of sports. What’s more important: the academics or the athletics?

  14. Interscholastic Sports • Sports contribution to educational goals. • Arguments for and against interscholastic sports. • Concerns • Overemphasis on Winning • Pressure to specialize in one sport and win instead of participating in many. • Restriction of Opportunities for Students • Only limited number of students can participate due to limited resources. • Eligibility Requirements: Are there any academic standards?

  15. Interscholastic sports • Concerns • Drug Abuse • Use of performance-enhancing drugs mainly anabolic steriods, and creatine. • Soaring Costs • “Pay to Play”: those that have the money can afford to play, but others lose out if required to pay. • Quality of the Leadership • Educational goals go unmet in instances of verbal abuse and control of the athletes’ lives by the coach. • Do coaches have to be certified?

  16. Intercollegiate Sport • Educational Sport -vs- “Big Business” • Governance • NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA • Pressures to win • Usually result in the abandonment of sportsmanship, character and social development • Academic achievement of “student-athletes” • Graduation rates • Proposition 48 and subsequent rulings • Exploitation of athletes • Athletes can make millions for their school, and only receive a full scholarship in return.

  17. Intercollegiate Athletics • Gambling • $2.5 billion was illegally wagered on the NCAA Div. I Men’s Basketball Championship. • Retention of Coaches • Drug abuse • Pressure to win and the use of performance-enhancing drugs. • Spiraling costs • Media • Had brought to light many illegal recruiting practices.

  18. Intercollegiate Athletics Reform • In1990, athletes’ graduation rates were required to be monitored. • Elimination of athletic dormitories. • Reduction of time allowed in practice/week, and the length of the season. • Can we fix the resemblance to the professional model of sports or is it too late?

  19. Concerns in Sports Today (Michner) • Discrimination against girls and women. • Children’s programs place too much emphasis on winning. • Children engaged in highly competitive sport at too early an age. • Money spent by “big-time” collegiate sport is excessive. • Recruitment of high school athletes is often scandalous. • Television threatens to destroy many of sports’ values. • Violence in sports is excessive. • Public support of professional sport is questionable.

  20. Girls and Women in Sports • Title IX of the Educational Amendment Act 1972 • “no person ... shall on the basis of sex, be excluded form participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal assistance.” • Challenges to Title IX (narrow interpretation) • Grove City College Vs. Bell • 1988 Civil Rights Restoration Act (broad) • Demanded equal opportunity for both sexes in all programs in any organization that received federal funds.

  21. Girls and Women in Sport • Compliance with Title IX • Proportionality • History and continued practice • Accommodation of interests and abilities • Impact of Title IX • Interscholastic sports • Intercollegiate sports • Increases in number of teams, scholarships offered, and qualified coaches hired

  22. Physical Activity and Sport in the Lives of Girls(1997) • Exercise and sport participation ... • contributes to the development of the “complete” girl ... • her social, physical, emotional, and cultural environment -- rather than to one aspect of the girl’s life. • a therapeutic and preventive intervention to enhance the physical and mental health. • enhances the mental health of girls through opportunities to develop positive feelings about their body, improved self-esteem, tangible experiences of competency and success, and enhanced self-confidence

  23. Physical Activity and Sport in the Lives of Girls (1997) • Sports contribute to educational goals. • Poverty substantially limits many girls’ access to physical activity and sport. • The potential for girls to derive positive experiences from physical activity and sport is limited by lack of opportunity and stereotypes.

  24. Girls and Women in Sports • Expansion of opportunities for girls and women due to: • increased visibility of women athlete role models • fitness movement • women’s movement • legislation • Factors limiting participation • financial constraints • societal constraints • discrimination

  25. Girls and Women in Sport • Women in the Olympics • Women have fewer events and participants than men. • In 1972, U.S. team 342 men and 96 women. • In 1996, U.S. team 382 men and 280 women. • 1996 women made up 36.5% of the athletes. • IOC slow to approve new events for women even though women are participating in world competition in these events.

  26. Girls and Women in Sport • Female Coaches • Since passage of Title IX, the number of female coaches has declined. • Decline of female intercollegiate coaches • In 1970, 90% of coaches of female teams were women. • In 2000, 42.2% of coaches of female teams were women. • Reasons for underrepresentation are varied. • Lack of well qualified women coaches and administrators. • Lack of visibility of women as role models in these careers.

  27. Girls and Women in Sport • Media • Trivialization of females’ accomplishments • Lack of coverage • Reinforcement of traditional stereotypes • Myths • Participation leads to complications in childbearing. • Women more likely to be insured. • Participation threatens one’s femininity.

  28. Minorities in Sport • Racism and prejudice in sport... • Is sport “color blind”? • Integration of sports • 1946, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play professional baseball for the Dodgers. • Participation patterns of minorities • Black athletes’ participation concentrated in a few sports. • Underrepresentation of minorities in certain sports and sport administration.

  29. Minorities in Sport • Stacking is the phenomenon where players from certain racial or ethnic groups are disproportionately represented at certain positions. • A reflection of stereotypical beliefs about racial and ethnic groups? • No consensus as to the causes of stacking. • Other problems: • Disparity in treatment by coaches • Sacrifice of educational goals for athletic goals • Social isolation • Prejudiced attitudes held by coaches and teammates

  30. Minorities in Sport • Native Americans • Limited participation by Native Americans in sports. • Factors that serve to limit participation: • Poverty • Poor health • Lack of equipment • Concern for loss of cultural identity • Use of Native-Americans as mascots is often a reflection of stereotypical beliefs.

  31. Sport for Individuals with Disabilities • Prior to the 1970s, individuals with disabilities had limited opportunities for participation in sport. • Expansion of sports opportunities • Changing societal attitudes • Use of sport for rehabilitation • Federal legislation

  32. Sports for Individuals with Disabilities • Federal legislation • PL 94-142 Education for All Handicapped Children Act • PL 93-112 Section 504 Rehabilitation Act • Amateur Sports Act of 1978 PL 95-606 • USOC Committee on Sports for the Disabled • Recognition of amateur sports organizations for the disabled • Paralympics • 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney involved more than 4,000 athletes, competing in 18 sports for 550 medals.

  33. Sport for Children and Youth • Youth sports have grown tremendously. • Widespread concern about the nature and outcomes associated with the programs. • Benefits associated with participation have long been heralded. • Many of the criticisms stem from the overemphasis on winning. • National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS)

  34. Sport for Children and Youth • Leadership is a critical factor in governing the outcomes associated with youth sports. • Need to structure youth sports to include elements that children find enjoyable within their own games. • Training of volunteers • Developmental vs Professional model • National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS)

  35. International Sport: The Olympics • Olympic ideals are lofty goals due to: • Olympics used to further political goals by some • Media coverage • Nationalism undermining the goal of unity • Increased commercialization of the Games • Amateurism vs professionalism • Restructuring of Games to attain goals in the future? How?

  36. Amateur Sport • Amateur Athletic Union • State Games • US Olympic Festival • Amateur competitions for adults • Senior Games • Master’s competitions

  37. Violence in Sport • Overextension of physical and psychological intimidation of opponents. • Bench clearing “brawls’ in sports • “Enforcers” on some teams • Individuals on a team charged with protecting their own players by intimidating the opponents. • Violence at the upper levels of sports influences actions of children and youth at lower levels of sport with the help of the media glamorizing it. • Spectator violence and parental violence

  38. Dealing with Violence in Sport • No single, simple solution. • How violent is too violent? Where do you draw the line? • Some type of control must be instituted. • Stricter penalties should be imposed at all levels of sport? • Playing within the spirit of the game and rules, and respecting opponents will reduce violence?

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